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Washington Irving Intermediate School Wins Falcon Naming Contest

The students who chose the name.
The students who chose the name. Photo Credit: Contributed

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Irvwing, a bird’s-eye play on the name Irving, has officially been chosen as the name for a falcon chick born on April 10 to a pair of peregrine falcons that live in a man-made nest box on the existing Tappan Zee Bridge.

The name was proposed by fifth-graders in Laura Brown’s class at Washington Irving Intermediate School. The class got the news Wednesday morning when a contingent of officials from the New NY Bridge project visited the school to surprise Brown’s class. It’s the second year in a row that Washington Irving has been honored with a chosen name.

Last year, when three chicks were hatched at the same site, Washington Irving was one of three schools with winning names. Last year, Washington Irving won for naming one of the chicks “Bridgette.”

Christine Kern, the fifth-grader whose name was chosen by her classmates to enter into the contest, said she thought Irvwing might have “a zero chance of winning.” But Christine said she decided to suggest Irvwing after looking at previous winning names and deciding that the public might like a name that is “kind of a pun.”

The New NY Bridge invited members of the public to help name the new falcon chick by holding a week-long naming contest on the project’s Falcon Cam web page. Last year, more than 3,000 people voted and schools in Rockland and Westchester counties entered potential names. Thanks to the efforts of several organizations and volunteers, man-made nest boxes on the existing bridge have steadily helped grow the state’s falcon population in recent decades.

Before the old bridge is torn down, a similar nest box will be installed atop one the new bridge’s iconic towers for future falcons. The nest box — installed and maintained by the New York State Thruway Authority — provides shelter and a high vantage point from which the peregrines can seek out and dive after prey.

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